This past weekend I visited one of Kansas City’s architectural salvage businesses. Like many, this one was housed in a building that was probably as old if not older than the items that it contained. Reclaimed art and stained glass windows hung from its ceilings. Vintage signage, fireplace mantels, and architectural carvings in wood and stone adorned every wall. Stacks of solid wood doors, both ornate and simple, filled its basement. As interesting as all of this was, I came to checkout the hardware and antique plumbing on display.
Vintage door hardware of all types filled dusty old bins. While browsing through their inventory I found Victorian doorplate sets resembling the Egg and Dart door plate set and Victorian door plate set reproductions manufactured by Nostalgic Warehouse. The variety of antique door knobs was by far the most interesting. I found the many designs fascinating. Many did, however, look familiar as they resembled the reproductions produced by Brass Accents. Lying in the bins were knobs that were likely the inspiration of reproductions knobs found on Brass Accents’ Laurel rose set and Sunburst rose set.
Antique heat registers were another interesting find. Stacks of cast iron heat registers in need of refurbishing were stacked on the floor. A number of the vintage registers resembled the Victorian style grill found on Reggio Registers’ most popular style of vent cover. I also found ornate registers resembling Classic Grills’ Victorian register and even a cast iron version of their Arts & Crafts style bronze grill.
Virtually all the hardware would need refurbishing and considerable refinishing work to return them to their past glorious appearance. Quality reproductions offer an excellent alternative to reclaiming these old pieces.